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Image forming apparatus

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Title: Image forming apparatus.
Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image data acquisition unit, a frequency distribution acquisition unit, and a color setting unit. The image data acquisition unit acquires image data representing a color image. The frequency distribution acquisition unit allocates a color of each pixel of the data as a class and acquires a frequency distribution representing an occurrence rate of the color based on the data acquired by the image data acquisition unit. The color setting unit sets a first color with the highest frequency distribution occurrence rate as a background color in the color image, sets a second color with an occurrence rate next in magnitude to the first color as a character color in the color image, and sets a color with an occurrence rate lower than that of the second color as a pattern color that is a color of a specific pattern in the color image. ...


Browse recent Kyocera Mita Corporation patents - Osaka-shi, JP
Inventor: Hiroyuki Harada
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120105880 - Class: 358 19 (USPTO) - 05/03/12 - Class 358 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120105880, Image forming apparatus.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an image forming apparatus that forms color images.

2. Description of the Related Art

Among image forming apparatuses such as printers, copiers, and all-in-one machines, those provided with a color printing mode and a monochromatic mode have been known. Further, a full-color mode and a two-color color mode are known as color printing modes.

In the full-color mode, printing is performed using all of the color toners provided in the image forming apparatus, and in the two-color color mode, printing is performed using a black toner and one chromatic color (specific color) other than black. A chromatic color is obtained by mixing a plurality of chromatic color toners.

In the above-described image forming apparatus, the two-color color mode is implemented in the below-described manner.

The above-described image forming apparatus is provided with a plurality of color component counter units having, for example, blue, green, and red color components allocated one by one thereto. Each color component counter unit counts the number of pixels of the color allocated to the color component counter unit from among a plurality of pixels included in image data.

Then, the above-described image forming apparatus sets the color corresponding to the color component counter unit with the highest count value as the specific color (one specific color). The image forming apparatus then prints the black portions of the image data with black and prints the color portions by using the specific color that has thus been set.

In business documents, black characters constitute a major portion of the document, and only a logo mark, which is a company mark, is often printed in a chromatic color. This is because the color of the logo mark is an important element representing the company. Further, only underlining lines and markers in the black text document are also often printed in a chromatic color.

Since the logo mark color is often the corporate color representing the specific company, the user needs this logo mark color to be truthfully reproduced on the paper. It is also desirable that the underlining lines and markers be truthfully reproduced.

The following problems are encountered when a document in which only a pattern such as a logo mark, underlining lines, and markers are printed in a chromatic color is printed in a two-color color mode in the above-described image forming apparatus.

Thus, since the above-described image forming apparatus prints the color portion by using the color corresponding to the color component counter unit with the highest count value, the color that can be used for printing the color portion is limited to any of the colors that have been allocated to the color component counter portions in advance.

For this reason, even when the original color image that is to be printed uses only one color other than black, a difference in hue can occur between the color of the color portion in the original color image and the color of the color portion actually printed in the two-color color mode.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an image forming apparatus that can increase reproducibility of the color of the pattern when the image including the pattern of a chromatic color is printed.

An image forming apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention includes an image data acquisition unit, a frequency distribution acquisition unit, and a color setting unit. The image data acquisition unit acquires image data representing a color image. The frequency distribution acquisition unit allocates a color of each pixel of the image data as a class and acquires a frequency distribution representing an occurrence rate of the each color on the basis of the image data acquired by the image data acquisition unit. The color setting unit sets a first color that is a color with the highest occurrence rate in the frequency distribution acquired by the frequency distribution acquisition unit as a background color in the color image, sets a second color that is a color with an occurrence rate next in magnitude to the first color as a character color in the color image, and sets a color with an occurrence rate lower than that of the second color as a pattern color that is a color of a specific pattern in the color image.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic cross-sectional view of the image forming apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating an example of electric configuration of the image forming apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an explanatory drawing illustrating schematically an example of the image of the document represented by image data;

FIG. 4A is an explanatory drawing illustrating an example of a histogram representing the occurrence rate of colors of each pixel of image data;

FIG. 4B is an explanatory drawing illustrating an example of a histogram representing the occurrence rate of colors of each pixel of image data;

FIG. 4C is an explanatory drawing illustrating an example of a histogram representing the occurrence rate of colors of each pixel of image data;

FIG. 5 is a flowchart illustrating an example of operation of the image forming apparatus shown in FIG. 2;



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Facsimile and static presentation processing
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120105880 A1
Publish Date
05/03/2012
Document #
13283883
File Date
10/28/2011
USPTO Class
358/19
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04N1/60
Drawings
19



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